Theatre Preview with Buffalo Spree's Darwin McPherson

March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 13, 2013 Updated Mar 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM EDT

March 8, 2013 Buffalo, NY - Theatre of Youth (TOY), Buffalo's only professional theatre company devoted to children and families, will present THE BORROWERS, a stage adaptation of the Carnegie award-winning novel by Mary Norton about 14-year-old Arrietty Clock and her family of tiny people who live secretly in the walls and floors of an old English house. Directed by Artistic Director Meg Quinn, the production opens

Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM and continues through Sunday, March 24, 2013. Tickets can be purchased by calling 716.884.4400 or by visiting http://www.theatreofyouth.org/. This production is recommended for ages 7 and up.

About the Story

Under the floorboards, Arrietty Clock and her parents live a quiet little life. Tucked away in their cozy home decorated with dollhouse furniture, they survive by "borrowing" what they need from the humans who live above them. But life is too quiet for Arrietty who yearns to experience the grown-up world for herself. When the Clocks' hiding place is discovered, they must venture into the giant universe outside, and Arrietty gets a bigger adventure than she ever imagined.

For sixty years, children's author Mary Norton enchanted readers of all ages with her stories of the ingenious family of "Borrowers," people barely six inches high who own nothing, share freely and shamelessly borrow whatever they need from human beings. The Borrowers won the Library Association Carnegie Medal in England as the outstanding children's book of 1952. Norton wrote four more sequels in the series including The Borrowers Afield, which is incorporated into the stage adaptation.

Artistic Director Meg Quinn says, "It's a wonderful story for children. I think it's a timely experience. They will have to engage their own imagination and their own creative thinking to understand the complexity of the story. It will be one of those shows that drive children to the books. They won't want to let go of the characters after they walk out of the theatre; and there is plenty to discover in the four books that explore the lives and adventures of the Borrowers."

Quinn adds, "I think this is going to be one of those experiences where a parent audience will be especially glad they came. There are challenges explored that relate to both the experiences of parents and their children."

About the Set Design

Meg Quinn remarks, "We will be challenging children to work at grasping the story through the theatrical convention of scale play. That's a good way to exercise a kid. They are proud of themselves for figuring it out. They are delighted when they achieve the 'aha' moment and are proud to be 'in' on it."

Artie Award winning Head of Design Kenneth Shaw is responsible for the creation of two worlds; a human world in normal scale and the Borrowers' world in oversized scale. Shaw will create over-sized props and set pieces to make actors appear tiny. For example a matchbox becomes a bed or a wine cork becomes a stool. Additionally, local artist Adam Kreutinger is creating puppets as miniature versions for each of the tiny Borrowers to be used when interacting with full-sized humans.

Quinn has once again assembled a strong cast of professional actors. Returning to Theatre of Youth's stage is Arin Lee Dandes as lead character Arrietty Clock; along with actors Marc-Jon Filippone, Lee Becker, Jacob Kahn, Annette Daniels Taylor, and Loraine O'Donnell. The Theatre of Youth design team includes: Kenneth Shaw (Head of Design), Chester Popiolkowski (Composer/Sound Design), John Rickus (Lighting Design), and Adam Kreutinger (Puppet Design).

Theatre of Youth (TOY) ticket prices are $24 or $26 per person and can be purchased online at http://www.theatreofyouth.org/ or by calling TOY's box office at 716.884.4400. Discounted group rates, subscriptions, and gift certificates are also available. All performances take place live on the Time Warner Cable Family Stage at the historic Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY 14201.

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